Gastartikel von Bernd-Christoph Kaemper
Dear Yoko Ono,
we wish to save a cherished old tree (link to pictures) from cutting by making it a Wish Tree.
Will you support us by sending us a few words of encouragement?
Here is some background information:
In Stuttgart-Feuerbach, at the railroad station, there is a 70 year old large weeping willow tree, with a trunk circumference of 270 cm. More than 3 generations have come to know and love the tree, it has provided shade, repose and rest in summer, it has greeted the people in the morning when they went to work, and in the evening when they returned home.
In 2013, the German rail company, which is undertaking a large railway & urban development project in Stuttgart (Stuttgart 21), cut down a large number of trees around the station in order to clear the construction site. But they promised to save the large willow tree which forms a historic landmark of Feuerbach. Now, 2 years later, they withdrew their promise and announced they want to cut down the tree, which happens to grow on municipal ground, at the edge of a temporary construction area which is needed for setting up cranes, they say.
We are sure it must be possible to plan the construction site in such a way that the willow can be preserved, even if it needs some detour and is somewhat costlier.
We have the support of our borough mayor, but there are no legal possibilities to stop the rail company from cutting the tree, because the plans have been approved previously. We know that many citizens of Feuerbach would deeply regret losing their „old friend“, the weeping willow, as many have asked in writing to the city council and the rail company to save the tree. Many people feel deeply disappointed because their dedication to stop a mega-project which they see as damaging to the city and the people has been ignored and led nowhere, many have resigned, others are angry. Even people who are in favour of the project, find it fatal that promises are not kept and that the project is pulled through without respect for the grown environment.
Our citizens initiative has already two times invited the people of Feuerbach to a public breakfast under the weeping willow tree in order to gather support and save the tree from cutting; media has reported, too. We continue to appellate at the city council and the rail company: Abide by your promise, which has been given in writing, the tree has to stay!
For us, the willow is a symbol for our „right to the city“: Pope Francis, in his recent Encyclica ‚Laudato si‘, has rightly deplored the decline of the quality of humen life in our cities:
„Neighbourhoods, even those recently built, are congested, chaotic and lacking in sufficient green space. We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.“ … „There is also a need to protect those common areas, visual landmarks and urban landscapes which increase our sense of belonging, of rootedness, of “feeling at home” within a city which includes us and brings us together.“
In these days no decision has yet been made over life or death for the weeping willow. We feel that the time has come to light a beacon of hope and love and go a step further to preserve the tree and the peace in this city. We want to make it visible to all that the local people cling to their cherished willow tree. So we had the idea to follow your steps and make it a wish tree! A Wish Tree for Feuerbach! We imagine that it would change people’s hearts, even among those who just want to pull through the construction project as quickly as possible.
If you like the idea and want to support us, please feel free to send us a few words of encouragement. It would mean a lot to us!
Bernd-Christoph Kaemper, for the Feuerbach Citizens‘ Initiative
Die „Wish Tree“ Kunstinstallation von Yoko Ono (link) begann in den Jahren nach 1981. Im Rahmen der Aktion werden Besucher eingeladen an diese Bäume Wünsche zu hängen. Mittlerweile stehen ihre Wunschbäume schon in New York City, St. Louis, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Pasadena, Palo Alto, California, Tokyo, Venedig, Dublin, London, Exeter, England, und Finnland.
Einer ihrer Wünsche (von 1996) zur Aktion lautet: „Bitte Wünschen Sie sich etwas. Schreiben Sie den Wunsch auf ein Stück Papier. Falten Sie es und binden Sie es um einen Ast des Wunsch-Baumes. Bitten Sie Ihre Freunde, das gleiche zu tun. Wünschen Sie solange bis die Zweige mit den Wünschen bedeckt sind.“
More Pictures from „the old friend“ (link)
Impressions from the trees they fought for, most sadly lost since then. (link)
Pictures from a day in 2010 from Stuttgart – The government fought with armed and armored troups against the people. Later after a very long and sad day, the people lost some really old trees against their police troups (link)
( Alexander Schäfer auf schaeferweltweit.de )